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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

958 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 958
Hads: 3,221
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,142
Gots: 710 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 958 | Hads: 3,221
Photo of DeeMented
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the waxed 750 mL bottle into a champagne flute.

The beer poured an opaque, rusty brown with a thin, tan-colored head. The head faded very quickly, and left a bit of sticky lacing on the glass. Not a very pretty beer.

The smell was cherries. To be blatantly honest, the smell reminded me of cough syrup, and I had a hard time getting around that.

It was hard to find the carbonation in the mouthfeel, but it didn't feel watery, either. Very light-bodied.

The taste was sweet cherries, like fresh cherry pie filling. There was some tartness to the finish, but the sweet, almost sugary flavor dominated. It was pretty tasty stuff, just very sweet.

This is a beer that I tend to buy more as a novelty than an everyday brew. I pick these up all the time as gifts, or to share, but very rarely get one for myself. I'm not a huge cherry fan, but I do enjoy several glasses of this every time I have it.

I've found it pairs well with good, dark chocolate.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL green glass bottle. Didn't see what type of closure it had, but it was red wax. Thanks to Destiny for opening this! No date - Why don't people put dates on their beers?!

Quick review: Pours a bright candy-apple red color, fairly clear with some faint crackly head. Nose is like a Luden's Cherry cough-drop - and I don't mean that as a slight. Bright juicy "cherry" aroma. Palate is crisp and clean with some crackly bubbles and that same "cherry" flavor. It's not dark cherries, nor black cherries, but seriously juicy RED cherry. Clean, somewhat tart finish.

I could drink this all day. I love me some cherry beer!

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Photo of spoonhawk
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

There is significant aggressive carbonation, and the mouthfeel is crisp.

The flavor of tart cherries is fully developed, potent, and anchor the beer through to the finish. As the cherry dissipates a bit a sweet doughy quality comes through on the back end midsip, and gives the beer a pastry like flavor. That however is short lived, as drier oaky wood notes clear things out.

The lingering flavor is sharply tart cherries and light wood.

A great beer at the near pinnacle of the style. It leans towards the one-dimensional, but there is just enough to open the beer up to make it a real worthy beer of seeking out.

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Photo of ADR
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish (purple?) brown and cloudy with a pinkish cotton candy head. Resembles many mass market fruit Lambics. Good cherry aroma, not at all artificial but with an accurate sense of sweetness and sourness that you taste in real fruit. Some yeasty bready notes, as well. Flavor is very well constructed macerated cherry with skin in a very natural tart state. An accompanying bit of wheaty grain makes for a nice velvety mouthfeel and well matched sense of astringent drying for the finish. Much better than over mass market sweetened Lambics and American fruit Wheats. An overalll winner (still a little too sweet), I am still hoping against all odds that New Glarus one day sells on the other side of the Wisconsin border.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a medium bodied bright cherry red in color with an off white lacing around the snifter. The aromas are of sweet cherries and not much else. It's almost medicinal. It's kind of like cherry pie. The flavors too, of cherry pie. You get a light tartness with a lot of sweet cherry. It's to the point and not overly complex. It does taste "good" but is just so straight forward and doesn't offer a whole lot of complexity. It drinks pretty light in body but due to the sugar, is pretty sticky. Overall it is a decent beer but just so sweet. It's hard to get past the cough syrup.

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Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kind of liked the bottle. Label even looks kind of old fashioned like a early 1900s european wine ad. Hazy medium red w/ ok head. Aroma is big fruity cherry and floury wheat. Big juicy cherry up front, tart finish. Very active carbonation tingles the tongue and complements the cherry acidity nicely.

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Photo of zac16125
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle with the initial glass poured into a champagne flute (as instructed by the label, and the subsequent glasses from the bomber poured into a snifter)
no born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A big thanks to haveanother1 for sending this one over in a trade.  

A: Pours a translucent amber with reddish accents and 1.5 fingers width of white head with a subtle pink hue.  The head takes a fair amount of time to dissipate away and leaves a firm layer of lace after each sip with cobwebs in between.

S: Smells of cherry of course, both fresh cherry along with a medicinal cherry cough syrup character.  Not much else going on here.  

T: Again cherry, and again more of the medicinal artificially flavored cherry.  No doubt its sweet, but it also is surprisingly tart, which I like and think is absolutely necessary to balance out the sweetness.  Its  more tart than the raspberry tart, which is quite ironic.  Its also a touch oaky, and has some herbaceous, earthy notes.  

M/D: Medium bodied, somewhat syrupy, moderate to highly carbonated, and slightly drying.  Drinkability is moderate at best, as the combination of the high carbonation and sweetness make this one just sit in my stomach and make me feel full and bloated.  When I review beers I like to drink the whole thing, but this one is definitely for sharing.  So grab a buddy or loved one before you break the wax seal on this one.  

O: Overall, good not great.  As far as fruit beers go, this one is far better than most, but in my opinion the raspberry tart is much better.  This one seems much more artificial and generically flavored than the RT, which literally tastes like you are drinking fresh raspberries.  Certainly worth a try, but I probably wont seek it out again.  

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark red into with little or not head. The smell is crisp and has a tart cherry smell to it. The taste is great. You can taste the fruit but it is not too overpowering. A nice carbonation in the mouth gives it a clean and fruity taste.

I enjoyed this beer but I could probably only do one of these every now and then. Any more than one in a sitting would kill my tastebuds.

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Photo of Khazadum
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Moderate head development, tan dehydrated oatmeal froth, and mild retention. Large bubbles from the very carbonated burgundy body disrupt the creamy presence it had at first pour. Lacing is a bit fine, low sticky nature prevents it from forming anything significant in terms of artwork.

S- Sharp sweet cherry on the opening. Crisp maraschino flavors with only the minor of tart balance. Bit of vanilla from the oak on the second wave gives it. Faint bit of wheat malt gives it that earthy presence as the final waft.

T- First hits are of course that sweet cherry body, bit of minor tart that I was hit harder. Sweetness of the oak flow in the middle and dominate the finish with the hints of vanilla and earthy wood body. One other notable element would be a mild bitterness in the middle that is easily drowned out.

M- Crisp carbonation in the beginning create a harsh oral sensation that benefits the overall presentation from becoming over attenuated. Nice clean finish with the woody nature not lasting too long. Mild body, watery at times.

D- Overall this beer is very tasty. It never becomes cloying, it never burns out in presenting flavors, and it is something I'd drink again. Probably one of the better fruit beers out there.

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Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brewery confirmed the date on this bottle as March of 1999. From the collection of my late aunt, it was stored on its side in the refrigerator. This is my first time having this beer.

Served in a flute.

A- Hazy red, hints of brown. Off-white head, moderate carbonation.

S- Delicious, complex cherries. Like cherry Kool Aid, but real.

T- Heavy on the cherries here, not a lot on carbonation or much of anything else. Perhaps it has lost something here.

M- Moderately thick, but not syrupy.

O- Definitely nothing bad to say about it. Even with its age, this was my favorite beer I had on Christmas! Especially as it warmed up, I was left wanting more.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Joe was kind enough to send me one of these long time wants in the LNBA BIF a while back. Thanks, Joe! I split this with 2 friends last night.

The pour is quite gorgeous, hazy and turbid ruby red with a large, dense off white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is pure cherry juice, fresh and refreshing with a delicious blend of tartness and sweetness. Mildly jammy, this is glorious! The palate is similar, with sweet cherries, rich and pure. Mild tartness is present and the acidity and funk are very restrained (almost non-existent) for a beer that's supposed to have wild yeast and bacteria. The finish is a touch disappointing, with the sweetness fizzling out rather rapidly. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is a treat, but my 8oz were sufficient. I would never turn this down, though.

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Photo of Vogie
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Served in a Duvel Tulip glass. Pours a nice dark ruby color with a thin white head reminiscent of pancake batter. Smell is full of fresh cherry sweetness with maybe a slight hint of pie crust. Taste follows the noise with gooey fresh cherries, oak, and pie crust. Decent carbonation with a syrupy mouthfeel.

As close to a liquid cherry pie as you will get. Great execution and balance. Definitely share this one with others. Its too rich to have more than one class.


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Photo of Franz4
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice bright red, head settles quickly and is very bubbly.

S- strong cherries come through, it's a bit medicinal, but just barely.

T- Pure cherry here in the taste, nice flavor, it's on the sweeter side for sure. No medicinal presence in the taste.

M- This was nicely carbonated, light bodied, refreshing.

O- I thought this was well crafted, while I didn't think it was a stand-out for me, it was quite good. I prefer the raspberry tarts flavor profile, but this one had better carbonation.

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, capped coated with red wax, pours a deep reddish brown in color that has a big head that doesn't last, sweet, fruity cherry aroma with a sweet and lightly sour taste of cherries, very carbonated on the tongue, finishes clean and fruity.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's epic Wall St. tasting

A - Pours a reddish brown, with a light pink head that quickly recedes to a small collar.

S - CRANBERRIES! (thats all I wrote, but I have a distinct memory of how one-dimensional this was)

T - A typical fruit beer: very one-dimensional, but hammers its point home quite ferociously. A tad cloying.

M - Very thin, too light and champagne-like for my tastes.

D - Very drinkable, could session this all day but for the limited distribution. However, just because you could doesn't mean you should...

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Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came unexpectedly in a trade from orbitalr0x. Thanks!!!

Red tinted glad to say. Off white head, fell quickly. Caramel colored out of direct light. "Marriage of wine and beer" it says.

Smells like a wild cherry life saver, with just a hint of sour. I happen to love wild cherry life savers, so this should be a good night.

Taste is the same as the scent, but the first drink is like a shockwave to the whole mouth. Eyeopener! Tons of sweetness in here.

Smooth. Dry on the finish. Carbonation is mellow.

Overall: a great treat

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Photo of atigerlife
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a kriek glass.

Pours a murky brownish-pink with a small brownish/red head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is black cherry soda.

Taste is of cherries, not too sweet and very little tartness. Some farmhouse/hay taste.

Mouthfeel is med-light and somewhat flat.

Overall, very nice taste and quite drinkable. I wouldn't call this a typical kriek, but it is good nonetheless.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Generously shared by my right hand man Treyrab. Poured from a capped 750mL into a tulip. Pours an orange red, incredibly hazy, with a light pink head head. Kind of an odd look, but I'm guessing a really tasty beer is to follow.

Tons of really sweet cherries, smells like a cherry pie. Really well done, some vinegar adds slight acidity in the nose. Some lemon citrus notes as well, Really nice well rounded scent, slight breadiness.

Acidic right off the bat, very tart cherry. Nice sweet malts uncovered with no hop presence. Bready tastes as well. Not as thin as I was expecting which adds a really nice texture to this beer. Very easy drink with slight wine characteristics. Very acidic again on the end. This was an easy drink, and to all you young cats out there trying to get your groove on with some honey, pop one of these and let the night begin.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 9 oz bottle. Pours with a quickly dissipating pinkish white head, that leaves behind next to nothing in terms of lacing. Beer is a pleasing, hazy brownish red color. Smell is dominated by tart cherries, with maltiness lurking in the backround. Taste is also dominated by cherries, with maltiness still lurking in the background. Mouthfeel is quite nice and tight with decent carbonation. Overall, though it's not a beer I would drink quite often, today is the hottest day in Chicago in five years, and this beer is incredibly refreshing and is really hitting the spot.

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Photo of Goliath
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I acquired this one in my first trade with nflmvp. Thanks Steve.

Pours a hazy brown with ruby hues. No real head is produced on the pour. Aroma is nice, and fairly gentle. Notes of tart cherry, and tangy wheat. Taste is also quite nice. Tart cherry and tangy wheat mostly with a bit of a drier finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very lightly carbonated. Drinkability is fairly high as low alcohol and good flavors make for easy consumption.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my bro for the bottle!

Pours a cloudy, cherry-red with a thin white film on top. Light to almost no lacing.

Cherry cough drops with sweet malts on the nose. Fairly one dimensional, but it definitely brings out the cherries, so I'll give them that.

Lots of sweet candy cherry. Like nose, this is almost all cherry. Quite sweet and a bit malty. Definitely the most cherry flavor I've had in a beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth and well carbonated. Almost syrupy. Malty, seems to go well with the flavor.

Drinkability is good. A bit sweet and one-dimensional, but a fun beer to drink and only 4% ABV. Definitely seek this out if you love fruity beers and/or cherry. Also a great beer for those that aren't really into beer.

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Photo of Moose21
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got via trade- thanks Jared Mathys!

L- pours a light red with small white head which disappears quickly. Leaves a nice white lace with no legs.

S- Boom! great cherry burst. Intoxicating cherries and sour. My favorite part of this beer.

T- Cherry heavy upfront, pie, light undertones. I was worried it would be too much, but it fades quickly.

F- has a nice mouth, finishes clean. Very heavy upfront, but finishes nicely.
Has a little cherry weight on the back, but is crisp.

Overall- great beer! An amazing American interpretation of the style. Compare to a Kriek, but with american cherries- a truly unique beer.

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Photo of cvm4
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Pours a cranberry red color with an eggshell one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S - Smashed cherries, light tartness, sweet and medicinal.

T - Falls in line with the smell. Really a huge amount of cherries up from, some tartness and a sweetness to it. The medicinal taste is there, but not as up front as it was during the smell.

F - Light bodied and medium carbonation. A little syrupy feel. Has a dry finish.

O - The sweet and medicinal theme really can go across the big bottle fruits NG puts out.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle shared with friends and family. Served into multiple snifters.

A: Hazy ruby red and mahogany colored body with an off-white, slightly pink/brown head. Amazing sticky lacing around the entire glass, and a decent retention ring with a center patch. For being aged in oak barrels with tons of cherries, this seems about right. Really nice looking beer.

S: Maraschino cherry juice and flesh, pureed cherry and blueberry skins, sweet and somewhat of a tart red fruit juice aroma. Very aromatic and fruity; it's hard to pick out much of anything past that. No hops, but some very pale grains towards the back end...

T: Sweet red cherries, certainly a bit more akin to a fake or preserved cherry flavor (again, Maraschino comes to mind). Somewhat of a fresh cherry flesh and pits mid-palate with a gritty, grainy backbone. Sugary cherry and red fruit candy flavor lasts well into the finish and linger.

M: Bubbly but very creamy and silky on the palate. Medium-bodied, sweet and dry in the finish. A nice feeling beer, very lively.

Even split a few different ways, more than 8 ounces of this was starting to really get to me. In terms of drinkability, this isn't very high - it's just very sweet and the flavor profile starts to wear you down. Personally, I'd split this with as many people as possible and when not forced to drink a lot to finish the bottle, this is good.

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Photo of LeRose
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at several bars in Madison, WI. Not a big fruit beer fan, but really loved this stuff. Lots of cherry flavor, a nice tartness to balance the sweet, some malty character in the background. DIdn't get the artificial cherry flavor I've had in some other kriek-type brews. Definitely a good job by New Glarus on that aspect. Way in the background I thought I found some malty (ie real beer) backbone underlying the whole thing vs. the more soda pop varieties. Very nice, balanced taste and certainly drinkable. Sort of explosive flavor - very strong, competent flavor profile overall. The only knock for me is the "fizzy bubbly" - not a huge deterrent as the bar tabs would reveal...

Review from notes

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 958 ratings.